Launching an Innovative & Accessible Grant RFP Process

The Water Hub was designed to advance water-smart policies and programs by supporting the communications efforts of advocates and experts. López-Wagner Strategies and ALRAS Digital served as strategic advisors for The Water Hub in designing a field grant Request for Proposals (RFP) process that was equitable and accessible to primarily BIPOC-led grassroots organizations working on water issues in the Los Angeles area.

With profound experience in the grantmaking process and an understanding of the inequitable access to the traditional RFP process for grant applications, the Water Hub partnered with our team to completely rethink the process to reach historically excluded groups that were likely to work more closely with communities around water issues.

Our team reached out to grant officers at several foundations, including the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the Rose Foundation, and Sunlight Giving, to learn from and review their most progressive and equitable grant procedures to identify what areas could be mirrored and what processes could be improved.

We worked to expand the Water Hub’s relationships with existing community groups in the Los Angeles region active on water issues by creating a list of two dozen potential groups to include in outreach.

The final deliverables included an online survey and recommended interview with rubric assessment to replace the traditional Letter of Interest (LOI) and RFP process that simplified review and increased efficiency on the applicant and client sides. Our team also provided a media advisory, outreach materials and social media, and process memo to guide the RFP process.

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